Crew-1 Splashdown Waved Off as Station Teems With Science

The 11-member crew aboard the station is actually a combination of three different crews. The four Space Crew-2 astronauts are in the back row. The three-person crew of the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship are in the middle row. In the front row is the SpaceX Crew-1 foursome.
The 11-member crew aboard the station is actually a combination of three different crews. The four Space Crew-2 astronauts are in the back row. The three-person crew of the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship is in the middle row. In the front row, is the SpaceX Crew-1 foursome.

NASA and SpaceX have decided to move Crew-1’s undocking and splashdown from Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, respectively, following a review of the forecast weather conditions in the splashdown zones off the coast of Florida, which continue to predict wind speeds above the return criteria. Mission teams from NASA and SpaceX will meet again on Friday to further review opportunities for the safe return of Crew-1. Crew Dragon is in great health on the space station, and teams will continue to look for the optimal conditions for both splashdown and recovery.

Commander Akihiko Hoshide is leading the Expedition 65 crew and will stay in space until October with his Crew-2 crewmates Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur and Thomas Pesquet. Also staying behind on the orbital lab are Soyuz MS-18 crewmates Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov.

All 11 of the orbital residents stayed busy today with human research studies, lab maintenance, and emergency gear training as the Crew Dragon departure activities were under way.

The station was teeming with science on Thursday with the crew collecting and stowing urine samples, conducting behavioral research, and exploring how affects grip and movement. Fuel bottles supporting combustion experiments were swapped out while new hardware was installed to activate a high-performance space computer study.

Cargo Ship Departs as SpaceX Crew-1 Mission Nears End

The 11-member crew aboard the station is actually a combination of three different crews: the Soyuz MS-18 crew in the back row, the SpaceX Crew-2 in the middle row, and the four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts in the far left and right corners.
The 11-member crew aboard the station is actually a combination of three different crews: the Soyuz MS-18 crew in the back row, SpaceX Crew-2 in the middle row, and the four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts in the far left and right corners.

A trash-packed Russian cargo craft departed the International Space Station on Tuesday night. Four astronauts are also nearing the end of their mission amidst a variety of human research taking place on the orbiting lab today.

After being docked to the station for just over a year, Russia’s ISS Progress 75 (75P) resupply ship undocked from the Zvezda service module’s aft port filled with trash and discarded gear. The 75P backed away from Zvezda during the automated maneuver that began at 7:11 p.m. EDT. It will orbit Earth on its own until Wednesday night before burning up safely above the southern Pacific Ocean.

Four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts are targeting Saturday for their return to Earth and splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida. NASA and SpaceX managers continue to monitor the weather at the splashdown site.

The SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience is planned to undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter on Friday at 5:55 p.m. EDT. Astronaut Michael Hopkins will command the ride home alongside Pilot Victor Glover and Mission Specialists Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi. They are due to splashdown the next day at 11:36 a.m. NASA TV will begin its continuous live coverage at 3:30 p.m. on Friday.

Staying behind on the station is Commander Akihiko Hoshide and his Crew-2 crewmates Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur of NASA and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency. They will live and work in space until October with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov who rode to the station on April 9 aboard the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship.

During the crew handover activities, the orbital residents still had time for space science today. The crew collected blood and urine samples for the Phospho-Aging study that is researching space-caused muscle and bone atrophy. They are also taking note of how improving a space diet can impact mission success. Finally, they explored how weightlessness affects grip and movement as well as future spacecraft and robotic piloting techniques.

Astronauts Swap Station Command Before Cargo and Crew Ships Depart

The SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts (from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are pictured shortly after commenting on their mission before returning to Earth this weekend. Credit: NASA TV
The SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts (from left) Shannon Walker, Victor Glover, Michael Hopkins and Soichi Noguchi are pictured shortly after commenting on their mission before returning to Earth this weekend. Credit: NASA TV

The International Space Station has a new commander today as four astronauts prepare for their return to Earth this Saturday. The orbital residents will also send off a Russian cargo craft on Tuesday evening, completing its year-long stay at the orbital lab.

The four SpaceX Crew-1 astronauts have a new splashdown date after mission managers waved off Wednesday’s planned departure due to weather conditions at the landing site. The quartet of Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi, is now targeting a splashdown off the coast of Florida for Saturday at 11:36 a.m. EDT.

NASA TV will begin its continuous live coverage at 3:30 p.m. Friday starting with hatch closure of the Crew Dragon Resilience set for 3:50 p.m. Resilience with its four-person crew will then autonomously undock from the Harmony module’s space-facing international docking adapter at 5:55 p.m. completing a 164-day station research mission.

Walker handed over station command to today Akihiko Hoshide from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) during the traditional change of command ceremony. Hoshide, Japan’s second station commander, will now lead Expedition 65 until October of this year.

Hoshide arrived at the orbital lab on April 24 aboard the Crew Dragon Endeavour with SpaceX Crew-2. NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough commanded Endeavour riding alongside Pilot Megan McArthur and Mission Specialists Hoshide and Thomas Pesquet during the near 24-hour trip that began with a launch from Kennedy Space Center.

Staying on the orbiting lab with the four Crew-2 astronauts are NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. The trio docked to the station’s Rassvet module inside the Soyuz MS-18 crew ship on April 9 and will stay on orbit until October.

Russia’s ISS Progress 75 cargo craft has been packed with trash and discarded gear and its hatch closed for an undocking today at 7:11 p.m. It will leave the Zvezda service module’s aft port and spend another day orbiting Earth on its own before reentering Earth’s atmosphere above the Pacific Ocean for a fiery, but safe destruction.